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Yowie brings video chat, media sharing to Facebook

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Online video chat provider Yowie is hoping to boost its social presence with a Facebook app that will let individual users talk to one another while sharing interesting videos. The app, which competes with Google Hangouts, Chill and ShortForm, seeks to differentiate itself by ranking users based on the videos they share and their behavior in chat rooms.

Yowie allows users to connect to their application through Facebook and invite friends to video chat and to share media from sites like YouTube. (s GOOG) Once logged in, users can broadcast from their webcams and then search and add media to be viewed as part of a shared playlist. They can invite friends directly through Facebook or share with social networks such as Twitter and Google+.

Video chat can be a risky beast: Just take a look at the dramatic rise and fall of Chatroulette for a lesson in what can happen when such a community isn’t moderated or policed. That’s one reason that Yowie has built a reputation score into its video chat application, to separate bad actors from other users. Anyone who gets banned or kicked from video chat rooms will see their Yowie scores affected. Meanwhile, those who contribute popular media can get voted up.

For the most part, Yowie has pushed its video chat platform as a way to connect musicians and performers with their fans. But it’s pushing — and especially its new Facebook app — as a consumer-facing alternative to other video chat platforms.